Dear family,
Things are going great here in Utuado. Sister Thomas and I are so fun together! We are just up to a lot of missionary work fun and side projects that entertain. (In fun side projects category: I hope you have received Flat Hermana Miller and are having lots of fun together.) Also, we are in a district with another companionship of sisters (again), so that is a lot of fun too. We are going to Ponce every week for district meetings, which is a bit of a hike (Ho9ur and 15 minutes).

We had a surprise mission conference this week to meet the new President and his family. On Thursday night they called us to tell us to be in Bayamon at 7:30 the next day for a meeting. So. We live in the middle-of-nowhere in the west part of the island, and Bayamon is on the more east-ish side. We had to get up at 4:00 am so we could leave at 5:00 to be there at 7:30. It was kind of ridiculous. But we made it. And I saw Sister Palmer (my companion from the CCM)! It was cool to see her again and chat, and also really weird to see so many missionaries that we didn't know/recognize. We met the new president and his wife and their kids; an almost 16 year old, an 11 year old and a 7 year old. They sang a song for us as a family before the kids and Sister Alvarado had to leave for school. It was nice to meet the family, and then President Alvarado spoke for a while. I can see that there are going to be a lot of changes. Things are not going to go on the same as they have been. We'll see how that goes. He is really trying to focus on mission unity right now, which is understandable, because we are two seperate and very different missions all-of-a-sudden trying to be one. It should be very interesting. He teaches different and administrates different. We'll all learn new things together as a new, unified mission.

Vincente, the friend of the branch president's wife, came to church again this week and we went to visit him to teach him a first lesson too. He is really cool. At church he got up in from of every one and spoke about how he is trying to raise his daughter without a mother, and after church everyone was really supportive of him and really friendly. That is the great thing about being in a small branch; when someone new comes, every one knows and greets and be-friends. I wish bigger wards could be that welcoming too. His daughter, Tanairy, really hit it off great with our young woman (yes, our one young woman), and they are great friends, which is really cool. He has been reading and we can see some great potential with him. We're excited as he starts to lean more about the gospel.

On July 5 we went to a neighborhood that was (Surprise!) near a lake, so we went and walked along the lake and talked to all the people who were randomly fishing there. Cool thing? They didn't use fishing poles; they just used fishing line...some just line, and some with the line wrapped around an empty beer bottle. It was weird. But people were catching fish, which was cool. It was a lovely day and we got to invite a lot of people.

We went to visit Shaira again this week and were really excited when, right after we walked in she told us she had read and had a lot of questions. We started out the lesson and then let her make her questions. The first one was about polygamy. And that is when we found out she had read, but not in the Book of Mormon, but online. Sad! She had read the blic of the chapter we had left her (the summary thing?), but then when she realized we wanted her to read the entire chapter she was like, um, seriously? Haha. Kind of cracked me up. But, she turned out to be really cool and is going to read this week. We called her yesterday to see how she was doing and she reminded us about our cita on Friday, so that's a good sign. We feel like she really understnads the necesity for a restoration and that she understand authority.

I read in 3 Nephi this week and I really loved reading about Nephi in chapter 7. I read it just in time to share in District meeting, where I was asked to talk about a successful missionary (see PMG chapter 1). 3 Nephi 7 talks about how he was a really powerful missionary who had great faith and that he ministered with power and authority. I love how inverse 18 it says that he had such great power that " were not possible that [the people] could disbelieve his words, for so great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ...". In the next verse it talks about how he performed miracles, including raising his brother from the dead. "Wow! If only we could have that power as missionaries," I thought, "then we could be baptizing machines, right?" Haha. Wrong. In verse 21 we learn that "...there were but few who were converted unto the Lord...". Sad. The saddest part is not that Nephi was deprived of the baptisms he wanted, or that people didn't believe in his miracles. The sad part is that the people knew that what he was preaching was true. Remember how it said in verse 18 that they couldn't disbelieve his words? They knew the truth and still rejected it. Preach My Gospel says that you know if you are a successful missionary based on your dedication. Nephi was dedicated, but people still had agency and rejected the message. Some who reject the message know it is true. But Nephi was successful because he dedicated himself to the Lord. Preach my Gospel also says that when people reject our message, we may be disappointed, but the most important thing is that we are not disappointed with ourselves. I really liked that story and thought you might too.

Also, we shared a talk with a recent convert this week from the General Conference of April. Wow! Awesome talk! "All Things Work Together for Good." It is by Elder Martino of the seventy, and he talked about how we look at Jesus Christ's last experiences on earth before His death as an example of how we should react in trials. It was a great talk that discussed how we need to accept the Father's will; depend and trust in Him more through our trials; learn from the experiences instead of complaining and serve others. I loved his perspective and the examples he gave.

Thanks so much for the package; I finally received it on the 3rd (a little late, but it came all the same). I like the drawings on the outside and the gift-wrapped fun on the inside (who wrapped that stuff; it was like, laminated in tape!).

I love you and loved hearing about the adventures of the week. Keep me up to date on all the fun you have together.

Hermana Miller.

This entry was posted on Sunday, July 11, 2010 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.